Since working at a coffee shoppe usually means that you are on your feet for hours on end, often times on very unforgiving floors, I was wondering if anybody has a pair or brand of shoes that they simply could not make it through a shift without? Any thoughts or suggestions as to how to make this aspect of the job a bit more endurable?

I have been a barista for years, but need a new pair of shoes, so I thought I would look for suggestions. :)

Cheers!

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Oh honey you've touched on a conversation I can certainly relate to. My feet kill. By the time I close my coffee house after a 12 hour shift I hobble into my car and want to cry my feet hurt and throb so much. I've been told to wear different shoes everyday - I wear dansko, clark mules and switch to an fro with a pair of new balance sneakers. I have to remind myself to sit down every so often during the day - yeah right! I also need to get another good mat in front of my bar for cushion. Don't wait until you have problem feet - take care of them now. Good luck.
Not so much for the comfort side of things, but non porous shoes (ie non absorbant) are a must, once dropped a full pitcher of hot milk on my foot and scalded myself pretty bad. Rubber fatique mats around your station make a huge difference to a working day though, and means you can wear almost any shoe.
Ya know...I'm needing new work shoes badly myself. My room mate works as a cook in one of the nicer kitchens in town and I think I'm going to get some of what he wears. They're cheap, lightweight, non porous, and ridiculously comfy. Crocs. They're also available in a multitude of colors :).

Kyle Salmi said:
i dig earth shoes... they take a few days to get used to, and they look really disgusting, but then your feet and back feel amazing even after 12 hour days. they also make some nice vegan shoes!
Born shoes all the way. http://www.bornshoes.com/
I'm all about comfortable shoes and I've yet to find any better. Tried Clarks, Merrill, etc... and none have even come close. I've even converted my wife.
nevermind the shoes, get some inserts/orthodics. I wear sneaker type shoes, not dress shoes, and the selection is quite large. It really makes a difference for me. Might not work for dressier type shoes though.
I love my Clarks and have worn nothing else to work for 10 years. Can't wear anything else. I have low arches and bad ankles and these are the best I've found. One of my regular customers, (triple-shot short mocha), owns a high-end men's shoe store and he recommended these as shoes worn by people who spend all day on their feet, like UPS and Fed-Ex delivery drivers. I have two identical pair and rotate them daily to allow them time to fully dry before they're worn again. They have completely leather uppers, including the insoles, so they breathe well and don't get funky. They're pricey, around $180 a pair, but they last for years and look good. I use a little Kiwi black shoe polish on them every 3 or 4 months to keep them looking good.
I have been a chef and barista for 11 years now and cannot go past my Birkenstock clogs. I have tried them all and really value these for comfort and ease of use. They are solid yet soft under foot. I added a pair of orthotic inserts to them a year ago and I have never had any problems.

I have buggered knees from a life of Rock climbing and wakeboarding and these clogs support me with ease..
Bob & Ray:
I went to the Born site and to the Clarks (Zappos.com) site and wow. They sure do look comfortable.

I bought a pair of Brooks Brothers about four months ago and I was just amazed at how wonderful they are. Admittedly, I haven't worked a bar with them yet, but OMG they are like wearing socks.
Yes! Although I stopped wearing these when I stopped working in the kitchen, and now I wear Keens which are equally excellent.

Dave_G said:
I have been a chef and barista for 11 years now and cannot go past my Birkenstock clogs. I have tried them all and really value these for comfort and ease of use. They are solid yet soft under foot. I added a pair of orthotic inserts to them a year ago and I have never had any problems.

I have buggered knees from a life of Rock climbing and wakeboarding and these clogs support me with ease..
I normally go with an Asics or New Balance running shoe. I used to run in college, and if they can hold up to 15 miles of pounding on the concrete, they can handle anything I dish out.

Side note.....I'm sure you all know about it, but as long as we're on the discussion: www.tomsshoes.com
Great shoe. Great cause.
My birkenstock clogs started to hurt my feet after a couple years (and a recorking), so I went to the new balance 991 which is an awesome shoe, but gets dirty in the shop pretty easily. I've moved on to the Keen like Jesse, and they are incredible. The wrapped toe design helps so you dont stub your toes either.


Jesse -D-> said:
Yes! Although I stopped wearing these when I stopped working in the kitchen, and now I wear Keens which are equally excellent.

Dave_G said:
I have been a chef and barista for 11 years now and cannot go past my Birkenstock clogs. I have tried them all and really value these for comfort and ease of use. They are solid yet soft under foot. I added a pair of orthotic inserts to them a year ago and I have never had any problems.

I have buggered knees from a life of Rock climbing and wakeboarding and these clogs support me with ease..
I hate how they look, but my feet felt worlds better after switching to New Balances.

Shoes For Crews also has some great Chuck Taylor knock-offs that are slip-resistant if those are a must for your job.

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